“Wyrd biõ ful ãræd.”

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Fall is here.

The leaves have turned, and the temperatures are in the thirties at night, up into the high sixties during the day. The humidity has fallen off to the point that I am running a humidifier for the ferrets.

I only have two of the little guys now.   I had up to 8 at one period,  some from Cinncinati, and some from adjacent counties. I went to the Humane Society in each county around us, and in my own county, and gave them my address in case ferrets were dumped off.  People buy them without realizing they require a vast amount of care and attention. They also have very large medical bills. Sometimes, people moved and couldn't take their ferrets.

Right now, I have only Spike and Percy.  Spike came from Cincinnati, and Percy is from Chattanooga. They both live in the apartment over the shop, since Rufus the Pomeranian came to live with us.  Rufus is a nice old guy, but I don't trust him around the ferrets. It's ok though, because the ferrets like having the apartment to themselves, and it has everything a ferret's heart could desire.

I get these pictures from Art by Stef.  She let's me use her painting on the blog, and I really appreciate it. She has hundreds of good paintings of ferrets and other animals. Sometimes I go to her web page just to enjoy the paintings.

Here's a link to her site:  Art by Stef: The Ferrets


Fall is a great time to be in the mountains, especially after this coming weekend, when the tourists will start leaving in droves. By the end of the month, it will be so deserted here that you expect tumble weeds to blow down the street, even though we don't have any here.

The new Military Surplus  catalog from SG is out.  Since they jacked up the price on the buyers club membership, I don't purchase as much from them as I used to.  They still put out a good catalog though, and sometimes when they have free shipping I pick up some extra magazines , ammo, or whatever.

Emergency Essentials just sent me their Fall catalog. It's more like a magazine, really. I enjoyed going through it. Emergency Essentials  has been the place where I get hard to find items, for many years. Things like storage pail wrenches, number 10 can lids, lots of bits and pieces.  They are a good outfit and have always delivered the goods as promised.  This year, they are offering free downloads of their "preppers  guides", which deal with different related survival subjects.


Earlier this week, my wife and I went on a little shopping trip.  Not long ago, I bought a pistol I'd wanted for a long time.  I haven't bought a new gun in awhile, and I found a nice example in a pawn shop. My wife and I each have "disposable income" shares in a special account. When all the bills are paid, when everything else is satisfied, we put the "leftovers" in this account. Each of us can spend our half of it on whatever we want to, it's not budgeted.

But alas, this gun was expensive, and my portion of the "mad money" wasn't enough to buy it. So my wife "lent" me her share.  Now we have cycled through enough time for me to have paid her back. So, we have been going to her favorite towns to shop.

While we were in North Carolina, we stopped at the "scratch and dent" grocery store and while we didn't buy much, we did pick up some good bargains.

I like the Jimmy Dean breakfast bowls very much. Usually, at Walmart, they are just under $3.00 each. But they had my favorite, the Burrito breakfast bowl, for $1.00 each so I bought a bunch of those.

The store had these big deli sized cylinders of Land of Lakes Provolone cheese.  Last time we found them there, they were $10.00 each and we bought all they had.  This time, the price had gone up about 50%, but we bought the six they had anyway.  It's great cheese, and you can't beat the price.

They were selling these big glass bottles of Welch's Sparkling juice in case lots of 12 bottles, for $1.00 a bottle. I bought one case of the Cranberry and one case of the White Grape.

All of  these things will keep for a long time, either in the store room or  the deep freezer, and it's always nice to save money. It's fun to poke around in there and see what they have, because they never have the same things two visits in a row. All of these items were time expired, but my experience has been that it makes not a one whit's worth of difference in the quality.

Thought for the Day:

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Doesn't feel like October here.

It's hot here.  Georgia was breaking record temperatures yesterday and you could sure tell it.  We are going to stay hot until Monday, when a cold front coming through will drop temperatures back into the normal range , low to mid seventies, for the mountains this time of year. The temperatures and humidity levels we are having now are more consistent with August than October.

We made a run into town yesterday, more to get out than anything else.  I forgot it was a "leaf season" weekend. Our rule is never to go into town or anywhere else from the beginning of the  second week of October through the end of the third week.  Traffic is terrible, and a lot of the people on the road and in town are rude, pushy, and obnoxious.  So this will be our last trip into town for awhile unless we really need something.

 Picked up some groceries, my wife got an "outfit", and I bought some 9mm and .22LR.  She really doesn't need any more clothes, but she likes  to shop and it makes her happy to buy some new things to wear.  I sure don't need any more ammo, but I seem to buy it just about every time I am pottering around somewhere that sells it. The big question for me yesterday was whether to buy aluminum cased 9mm ball, or brass cased 9 mm ball. There was only a difference of one dollar between them so I bought brass. Used to be, only CCI  had a good selection of aluminium cased ammo  (the Blazer line) but I guess the idea has caught on.

 While aluminum cased ammo is marginally cheaper than brass, you can't reload it.

So if you save a dollar on the price of 50 rounds, it might seem good at face value. You are giving up 50 cartridge cases of once fired brass though, and that's a false economy.

Unless, of course, you don't reload. But most people who shoot a lot do reload, both as a matter of economy and because they can work up their own loads.  Not to mention it's relaxing and satisfying.  You can store a lot of reloading components. If you have primers, powder, brass and bullets for your favorite loads, you can keep yourself in ammo a long, long time after you can't buy it anymore. Assuming you have the right tools and knowledge.   


I look at aluminum cased ammunition the same way I look at berdan primed ammunition.

It's always good to have some, in case you expect to be using it in a situation where you don't want to hang around to police up your brass.

That's the same kind of ammo you load wearing thin leather gloves, so there's no finger or thumb prints on the brass.

You just never know.....

But not everywhere:

Yellowstone is on the news a good bit since June, especially this last week.

There have been a lot of news stories over the past week about earthquake swarms that are more numerous and stronger than normal at Yellowstone.  If you google anything about "Super Volcano 2017" you'll come up with a good many articles in  recent mainstream publications.  Last night was the first time I have seen any segments about the subject on the MSM television since June.

The segment on OAN last night said that the scientists out there who monitor the Yellowstone Park (some of whom are featured in the two programs below) say the eruption is probably decades away, not hundreds of years.  I have been searching the internet for a video of  that part of the OAN broadcast, but so far it hasn't turned up. It was aired last night though, so it should materialize and I'll post it if and  when I find it.

In the interim, here's a Fox News article and video from two days ago, on the same issue:

Fox News article and video on recent Super Volcano discussions.

                                    link above:

From the "Naked Science" series on the Science Channel.

Super Volcanoes. (just under one hour in length)

Discovery Channel/BBC movie  "Super Volcano."

(this is full length movie, as aired on Discovery, runs over an hour.)


Thought for the Day:

Obama is gone, but his stench lingers on.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Not venturing out today.

Finally, a cold front has come through. Things are drying out, and the temperatures are backdown in the 70's. M and I are staying home today.  We have a big stew cooking in the crock pot, and there's nothing we have to do so we are just  taking it easy.

New catalogs:

I really enjoy this catalog.  It's free, and it's full of good things that might come in handy. They don't sell "top of the line" things, they are more oriented towards "good enough" , so their products are less costly. For instance, the scanner on the front page is excellent, Uniden makes them right, and it's not that expensive. The catalog had some good items I wanted, so I went ahead and placed an order. None of it is particularly expensive, just things like water proof matches and a few other items that caught my eye.

The new BudK catalog came too.  They are  the same company as the one above, just different names for different catalogs oriented towards slightly different products, as far as I can tell.

 I notice some of the "standard" knives that BudK sells a lot of have gone up a bit. Everything else is , so I am not surprised.  Years ago I bought a good many of these "standard" knives as barter items, and they are still out there in the barn, waiting for the day I need them. They aren't fancy but they are sturdy. Got to have something to trade for vegetables since I am not particularly successful with my own garden.

I was over at Six Bears, and one of his visitors mentioned this book. I'd never heard of it.  I'm one of those people who likes the desert, especially the Southwest.  I doubt I will ever end up there at  this stage of my life, but I ordered this anyway.  Something the author thought up for the desert might work for me here in the forest, and it looks like good reading.

A good surplus outfit:

Omaha's Surplus was recommended to me.  I bought some corrosive bore cleaner from them, and was very happy with the condition of the cans and the product overall.  I ordered two, but they sent me three. I called them and wanted to pay for the third can, but they said no, that they sent it as a "freebie." They wouldn't let me pay.

I appreciate that kind of treatment. They must be native Texans.

I wanted to let other people know about them, as they seem to have a lot of good gear to offer.

Omaha's Surplus


Normally, I think "sexual harassment" is mostly nonsense, but I was glad to see a big Democratic donor come to grief, and I was also delighted to see all his Demi friends scatter like cockroaches when the light comes on in a Moon Bat kitchen.

Thought for the day:

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Maybe that was the last one this season.

Actually, we had more difficulty up here with Nate than we did with Irma.  Not county wide. The power wasn't out for very long with Nate, and there wasn't as much damage with the trees coming down.

Our problems were more associated with very heavy rainfall right on top of us. The mountains are a strange environment in a lot of ways, and the weather is certainly one of them.  It can rain like Hades , and then you come to a point where it just stops.  Literally.  Drive your car down the road, the rain will be thundering down, the windshield wipers laboring away on max, and just like snapping your fingers, there's no rain.  We got hit with a much heavier downpour for about  three hours during the storm than they did at the foot of the mountain. I have no idea why but it probably had to do with the air currents moving the heavy bands of rain.

Because I built my house on a mountainside (only an idiot would build right on the pinnacle of the mountain with the winds we get here), there wasn't any flat place to build at all. Everything we built, we had to cut out of the mountainside with a bulldozer.  So, the rain comes roaring down the steep slopes of the mountain right onto my buildings down slope. I divert the rain with ditches that funnels it away from the buildings.

My pump house is actually built back into the mountainside. It's under one of the parking pads. It has cinder block walls and a gravel floor.  If the water gets backed up on the parking pad, it can soak down under the ground and seep into that tunnel where the pump equipment is.  This time around, in the middle of the night, one of the ditches critical to keeping the water off that parking pad got plugged up, and water got into the pump house.  We keep a sump pump in there, and it's no big deal as long as you catch it before it floods.  I check it periodically with a flashlight when we have heavy  rain, and I caught it this time, but it's aggravating.

Just to be clear, I have a well with a submersible pump out in the forest. This is not what I'm talking about. I mean the water pressure tank, the gauges, the filters, and all that when I say "pump house."

The picture above was taken right by my well and it's housing. If you look just to the left of the center of the picture, you can see a whitish shape.  That's the well.   The well and the pump house are about 200 feet apart, connected by underground electric lines and water pipes.

Anyway,  I guess this wasn't as bad a storm as Irma but it required a lot more action on my part. I sure hope we have seen the last of these hurricane remnants for this season.  The storm brought in masses of wet gulf air. Our humidity has been over 90% since it came through, and with temps in the high eighties, going outside gets pretty miserable.

A good deal on Beretta pistols:

Addendum: Wednesday afternoon: Commander Zero pointed out that these Beretta 92S pistols have a heel magazine release rather than the side release more common today. Being a Walther P-38 aficionado , that doesn't bother me but it might be an issue with other shooters. Here's a link to a good review on the Beretta 92S.

Tactical Life - The Rare Beretta 92S

The Beretta 92 in all it's incarnations is a good weapon.  This is a very good price on them, even without the free magazine. Again, if you don't have an FFL you have to go through your FFL dealer to get these, because SOG is a wholesaler. A C&R (curio and relic license) won't work on these guns, has to be a full fledged dealer FFL.

Just hit the news stands.  This is a good issue.  For one thing, the "shoot or not to shoot" issue has bothered me since I ran into those four black louts in Chattanooga. I'm glad I didn't shoot them, since I am not in jail right now. But I am still furious that I had to listen to their abuse and watch their posturing without doing anything about it. Sometimes you just have to bite your lip and refuse to be provoked, but it doesn't feel good.  I thought this article made a lot of sense.

There's also a great segment on military surplus ammunition.  I liked it even if I didn't agree with everything the author wrote. When will you ever agree with anyone else on a shooting topic, 100%?

I have been storing and using military surplus ammo since 1986. Off the top of my head, I've cached away and fired some of the following:

  • Portuguese 8mm  Mauser. Steel cased, non-corrosive. It worked ok in some of my rifles, but not in others. The problem was that it was  produced for machine guns, and had "harder" primers.  This is a strange solution to a problem I don't quite understand, but apparently some countries put "harder" primers in machine gun ammo than they did in rifle ammo. I read an explanation of this once, that it was to prevent slam fires in the automatic weapons, but that doesn't really make any sense to me. Maybe someone out there understands the mechanics of that better than I do.
  • Australian 7.62X51.  Super ammo.  Brass cased, non-corrosive, some packed in bandoleers and some in cellophane wrappers in the can.  This ammo was boxer primed so it was reloadable.
  • Ecuadorian 7.62X51.  Steel cased, corrosive. Dirty ammo, but it all fired.
  • Venezuelan 7.62X51.  Brass cased, reloadable, great ammo.
  • Turkish 8mm Mauser: Brass cased, corrosive, very hot. Came in wooden cases, with steel spam cans, holding bandoleers on stripper clips. Some folks say it is too hot, but I have fired hundreds of rounds out of my different mausers and never had a problem. You get some neck cracks, but it's not reloadable.
  • Estonian .223.  Brass cased, reloadable, good ammo, no problems. In bandoleers, in the can.
  • Austrian and German  8X56R.  Production dates 1936-1939. Brass cased, non reloadable, corrosive. Never had any problems with it.
  • Indian 7.62X51. This is one of the rare cases where there was a problem with the ammo, but it wasn't in firing it.  First, a lot of it came into the country in cellophane packs, in the can. That ammo was fine. Then a second lot came in packed loose, and that lot was "recalled" by the wholesalers. The bullets weren't crimped correctly and they were loose in the round. I used an inertial bullet puller to pull the bullets and threw the brass away , as it was Berdan primed. It had been sold so cheap I still made out.
  • Russian 7.62X54.  I've bought cases and cases of this. Some of it was brass cased on stripper clips, some of it was packed in 20 round boxes in the case. Russia made several different versions of the 7.62X54, and I've fired just about all of them out of my Moisin Nagants. I don't fire surplus in my SVT-40's because they are a nightmare to field strip, and any surplus Eastern Block ammo is  bound to be corrosive and non-reloadable. I did get a full can of American 7.62X54 that was an overrun from a contract for the Afghanistan Army, and it was good. Brass cased and reloadable.
  • Yugoslavian 7.62X54.  Lots of this. Some on stripper clips, some in 20 round packs. Yugoslavian ammo is very good, regardless of whether it's virtually new or is 1953 production (I've got both).
  • Polish 8mm Mauser.  Post war production, steel cased, not reloadable, corrosive. Good stuff.
  • Bulgarian 7.62X25 Tok. This is another of those weird deals where they made the ammo with a "hard" primer for submachine guns and a "normal" primer for pistols. I fire it out of two CZ-52 pistols I own, and it works fine.  Comes in a can, in string tied packages. Brass cased, corrosive, never had a problem with it.
  • 7.62X39.  I've got Russian , Polish and Yugoslavian surplus. The Yugo is the best, but it all shoots fine.
The point of all this is that I've got a lot of experience shooting surplus ammo, and I have found it to be good stuff overall. Like anything, you can get a "lemon" but I've been pretty fortunate there. The only real problem I ever had was a case of 6.5X55 Swedish Mauser that had some corrosion on the brass cases. I just sanded it off with a wire brush on a Dremel tool.

Branco is back from his vacation:

Thought for the Day:

A little music to watch the sun go down to: